So, the picture below was my daily calendar entry over this past weekend. While the cat is cute, the advice is less than helpful.
But upon first glance the quote definitely looks helpful:
- think about negative things and become negative
- think about positive things and become positive
The only problem is that this kind of advice does NOT ultimately follow if we carry it out farther:
- think about God and become God
- think about holiness and become holy
Both of these statements are patently false, and to believe them is to be deceived.
Now before you get upset, let me explain why i say this. Paul wrote the following in Romans 12:1-2: “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (emphasis added).
As the picture heading this article shows, i am indebted to Yoda for my title. As believers the point should not be placed on thinking, but rather on doing.
Yes, Paul specifically states, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” but it is not an end in itself. Transformation is the goal.
Transformation occurs by having a renewed mind, which only comes through knowledge of God in Jesus Christ. But the result of having a renewed mind (a.k.a. true transformation) is the ability to discern “the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”
And it is not enough to just know the will of God. There is no think; it is all about doing. One of the clearest verses on this topic is Hebrews 10:36: “For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised” (emphasis added). If you don’t actively do God’s will, you don’t have endurance, and you won’t receive the promised eternal life. This is serious!
According to Paul in Romans 12, the way we do God’s will is by presenting our bodies as living sacrifices. This consists in resisting sin (even our preferred forms), loving people selflessly, and worshipping God alone, all of which require us to not be content with head knowledge about Christianity.
We are not to love in words or in speech (thinking about being loving), but we are called to love in action and in truth (practicing being loving). This goes for love toward both God and our fellow humans.
To sum up, Buddha is wrong. To think about love is not to become love. To think about being godly is not to become godly. To think about holiness is not to become holy. We must transform our thinking on this so that we can actively carry out God’s will in our lives.
Soli Deo Gloria.